A Familiar Feline Face of Freddy Street Art

By: Jake Robinson

A face once unfamiliar to the residents of Fredericton has established itself as a staple of our city streets. Adding a little spice in our lives, it’s now become a friendly face around our sometimes deserted streets.

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Photo Credit: Cara Smith

Meep the Cat: from street to stardom. Living a life on the road, on the hunt for a home. The friendly neighbourhood graffiti cat with the smiling eyes can be seen all around Fredericton, so I think it’s safe to say that the little guy is here to stay.

The recently famous cat has sampled the best of metropolitan life, being seen strutting his stuff on the streets of cities like Beirut and Stockholm, eventually deciding on Fredericton as his place of residence. What can we say, the guy has good taste in cities.

We are a small cultural hub, a beautiful city on a beautiful river with a lot of cat lovers. I was afraid one of the major challenges we face here in the wilds of New Brunswick, our winters, would drive him away. But no, he lived it up like a true pioneer, smiling the whole way through.

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Photo Credit: Cara Smith

The first time I saw the curious cat was unfortunately not in his natural habitat, but online on the Fredericton Street Art Facebook page. We have some cool art plastered around the city, but Meep was the one who caught my eye. The smooth, seemingly effortless lines of its forehead and the trademark chutzpah grin says it all.

Its Facebook album already has twelve likes and its headed to the moon of galactic stardom, there’s no doubting that. Many street art devotees have already contributed to the street art Facebook page with words of encouragement and affirmations that “The cat is everywhere!”

Is this a good thing? I’ll have to admit seeing his face on the occasional bleak winter day made me grumpy. He was grinning at me, making me feel old and crotchety in the full swing of one of my characteristically bad moods. But maybe Meep is like the monarchy, completely useless but brings a little bit of solidarity to the community at large, because look… people are talking.

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Photo Credit: Cara Smith

Local residents say that Meep has brought a little light to their sometimes dark winters. Spotting his face on the way to work can bring a little cheer to your day (not mine).

Over the past couple of decades street art has gained a solid reputation as a legitimate art form, pioneered by famous artists like Banksy and his politically charged murals. Although Meep may not be as controversial, he certainly seems to be as interesting to local folks.

Street art brings expression to the streets, and if the artists is anonymous, a bit of cool mystery as well. The anonymous artist at large? None can know their name as it’s part of the enigma, the cool attraction of Meep and street art as a whole.

The fact that no one knows who the artist is breathes a little more life into the works. It makes us feel as if it’s just here in our city, not necessarily dependent on a creator.

Living it up of its own accord, smiling a little too much and giving us all an impudent wink as we pass by.

 



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